Victory Gardens Are Back
In 1919, during World War I, while food was sent to the troops overseas, major food shortages plagued the United States. The National War Garden Commission suggested that American families should grow vegetables in every available parcel of land to supplement their rations. This became a huge public movement as school grounds, parks, and yards became transformed into gardens. People named these areas 'victory gardens'. Recently, victory gardens have been making a comeback as families look for activities during quarantine.
What Is a Victory Garden?
During both World Wars, the government rationed food at the supermarkets, allowing the bulk of the canned goods to be sent to the soldiers overseas. Most of the shipping expenses were directed at sending supplies overseas as well. Fearing starvation due to the rationing, the government asked citizens to grow food wherever possible. Gardening was an important way for families and individuals at home to help those fighting overseas. Planting a garden became a way to serve the United States and be patriotic in times of war. It also became a community activity, as it gave people a reason to be outside, working together, and interacting with the natural world.
After the war, when the emphasis on victory gardens had diminished, many gardeners stopped tending their patches. In addition, when some gardens didn't grow well, gardeners became discouraged and chose not to plant again. It seemed that the age of the victory garden had ended.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, victory gardens experienced a comeback. Amid quarantine, food shortages, and so much uncertainty, small gardens began popping up all over the country. American families took comfort in their ability to grow their own food. It wasn't just about the food uncertainty, though. Many cities kept people under quarantine in their homes. As the quarantine extended into weeks, people felt confined and searched for ways to combat that feeling. Many people began gardening as a way to stay connected with nature, to relieve their stress, and to feel like they were adding life and joy to the world.
A lush and organic community vegetable, fruit, and herb garden in summer.
How to Grow Your Own Victory Garden
Want to start your own victory garden? Plan carefully! First, look at the space you have available and decide where you will plant your garden. Most vegetable plants will need at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight to grow. Next, think about the kinds of vegetables that you would like to grow and determine what resources they will need. Different vegetables will need different spaces in your garden. Also, think about how each plant grows, some may need a trellis or staking to stay upright. You will need to source quality plants for your Victory Garden's success. Stock up on your plants from our Victory Garden collection. Our Victory Garden Collection includes tomatoes, peppers, kale, cucumber, berries, and herbs.
- Anne Rodriguez